Archive for the 'Traffic' Category

June 2010 update

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Dealing with Deer:   Hungry deer continue to devour gardens and help spread Lyme disease in our community! For those interested in learning what can be done, attend the next meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Federation (MCCF) on Monday, June 14. Place: County Council Office Building, First Floor Auditorium, 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Time: 7:45-10:00 PM. Free parking in adjacent County Council garage. Bill Hamilton, the Parks Department Principal Natural Resource Specialist, will be the featured speaker at this monthly meeting of County civic associations and citizens. Since West Bradley belongs to MCCF, all of you are welcome to attend. It will be a good opportunity to follow up on the letters that many of us sent to Mr. Hamilton this last year and voice concern about budget decreases that may undercut County deer management programs. MCCF meetings are useful for providing information not only on the featured topic but also on all kinds of County issues that affect us in West Bradley.

Heads-up on Hollyoak/Deepwell Intersection:  Residents in this area of West Bradley have become increasingly concerned about the number of cars that speed through this intersection despite the four-way stop signs and the fact that this street crossing is a school bus stop. There has been one accident and there have been several near-misses. For this reason, residents in the Hollyoak/Deepwell area have asked the County Police to have a cruiser at that intersection, especially during rush hours. Hence, a caution to one and all – do honor the stop signs or risk a ticket. Most to the point, for the sake of safety, drive gently and legally throughout our community!

Help Update Email Listserv:  To all those wonderful neighbors who volunteered to serve as street captains, please let Sandy Vogelgesang ( know the address, phone number and email of new residents on your block or changes in emails for continuing residents. Our listserv works well only if we have up-to-date emails. For those who are not street reps but get this notice via the discussion listservs, do subscribe to the announcement listserv by clicking on and let Sandy know your contact info as well so that we have a current overall contact list for the community. Thanks so much for your help!

Building at Seven Locks/Change of Voting Place:  Work will begin this summer on the new Seven Locks Elementary School. Both the building and grounds will be closed in order to prepare for demolition of the current structure, mid-late summer, and the beginning of construction of the new expanded school this fall. Because of the project, those in Precinct 10-3 who normally vote at Seven Locks will vote at Carderock Elementary School for both the September primary and November election.

Happy Summer! Let your WBCA Board know if there are any issues you would like us to address or ideas for more community activity. In the meantime, enjoy a wonderful summer!

WBCA Alert 2/9/2010

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Most of our area suffered extensive power outages (and thus no Internet for WBCA communication) and delays in getting streets plowed during the most recent storm.  However, progress is being made despite the large number of trees down.  Crews arrived to help much of the area west of Seven Locks Road by yesterday afternoon and we hear that power has been restored to much of the area east of Seven Locks early this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 9).  Since another storm is to begin about mid-day today, with an estimated 10-20 inches of snow and gusty winds, we need to prepare for another round.  See below for a combination of information from Councilmember Berliner and our County government.  In the meantime, use our two discussion listservs (  and or email Sandy Vogelgesang at  to flag issues/ news, from situations where neighbors need emergency help to updates on power/snow removal service.

Information from Berliner and other County officials:

Snow Removal from Streets.  It is Montgomery County policy to focus first on “primary” and “secondary” roads before even starting on neighborhood streets.  In a storm of this magnitude, that means it can be two days after the storm subsides before neighborhood roads are started.  County crews, with something like 800 pieces of equipment, began moving into our neighborhood streets on Sunday.  While it seems odd that some streets get plowed before others in the same neighborhood, Berliner says that each crew has its own assignments, and all areas of our County are being treated equitably.    To report snow removal problems or downed trees, call 240-777-6000. Montgomery Department of Transportation (DOT) plow trucks are assisting PEPCO crews in reaching locations to restore power to the greatest number of customers. The County Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that all DOT staff, as well as Tier I, Tier II and Tier III contractors, are treating neighborhoods at this time. Information on County plowing policies and procedures is available on the County Web site at:  For a street that may have been missed by County plows, a report can be made via the County Web site at: Tree crews are staffed at each depot to respond to any tree related issues.  DOT plow trucks are also assisting tree crews in reaching locations.  According to the latest bulletin from the County (2/9, 9:45 AM), all neighborhood streets are scheduled to be reached by noon today and they have also asked that residents not call the highway services number because the phone line has been overwhelmed.

State Roads.  There have been many complaints about the state of some of our major roads — Massachusetts Ave, Old Georgetown Rd., Wisconsin Ave, River Road, Goldsboro, and Bradley Blvd.  These are state roads, and are the responsibility of the state to plow.  County officials have been in contact with state officials to let them know that these roads have not been given the attention they require.  If you would like to report a problem with one of our state roads, call 1 (800) 543-2515. 

Power.  PEPCO has its own priority list.  It focuses on the outages that affect the most people first, working its way down the list to the ones that affect just a few homeowners.  They have been hampered by road access.  County officials have asked crews to prioritize plowing in areas that are without power.  PEPCO believes the vast majority of people will have power back on in the next 24 hours; however, they are saying that some situations may not be addressed until Friday in light of the new storm expected between Tuesday night and Wednesday.  For outages, call 1-877-737-2662.  We have found over the last day or two that the more people who call to report outages the better the prospects for getting crews assigned to our area, so do call even if you must wait a long time to connect. For residents still without power, the County has opened three shelters located at: the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center at 1000 Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring; the Longwood Recreation Center at 19300 Georgia Avenue, Brookeville; and Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville (the closest to our community).  We also understand that several hotels in the area including the Marriott on Democracy have rooms.

Emergency.  Call 911.  For non-emergency police number, call: 301-279-8000. 

Safety Warning.  Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Service urges residents without power to be aware that using gas or charcoal grills, propane heaters and stoves, kerosene space heaters or generators indoors can be fatal.  They are a source of carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

TV Coverage. Montgomery County government’s cable television channel – County Cable Montgomery (CCM), which can be viewed on Channel 6 on the Comcast and RCN cable systems and Channel 30 on Verizon – is continuing to feature live coverage of road conditions at all major traffic intersections.

Parking.  Suspension of enforcement of parking restrictions in all public parking garages and lots will continue through Thursday.  Parking enforcement has been suspended since 3 p.m. on Friday. Residents are encouraged to park in these garages and lots rather than on the street, to make it easier for plowing operations to occur. County-owned parking lots and parking garages, and sidewalks near those facilities, have been cleared of snow. Park & Ride lots have been plowed and sidewalks/bus shelters cleared and treated.

Driving Conditions.  Montgomery County Police report that as some roads become more passable, drivers are increasing their speed. However, motorists are advised that they may encounter varying conditions on the same stretch of road, as plowing operations continue. Drivers are reminded to maintain a safe stopping between vehicles. Drivers are also reminded that the melting occurring today will produce black ice during the night and caution is advised. Drivers should stay alert at all times for pedestrians walking in the roadways, where sidewalks are impassable with plowed snow. Police are asking residents to stay at home if at all possible, as plows, trucks and front-end loaders are moving snow and workers clearing sidewalks may be in the street.   According to the latest County bulletin (2/9, 9:45 AM), driving conditions remain hazardous and all residents are urged to stay home if at all possible.

Mailboxes: If a County plow has damaged your mailbox, the County will install a standard post and mailbox at your residence as soon as all snow plowing is completed. Call 240-777-6000 to file a report. If you have a non-standard mailbox, call the County’s Risk Management Division at 240-777-8920. In the meantime, a temporary mailbox will be installed.  Mail delivery resumed yesterday (2/8).

Trash Collection.  County-provided recycling and trash collections were canceled on Monday, Feb. 8, but resumed today (Tuesday). All recycling and trash pickups slide one day.  Neighbors  were amazed to see the garbage trucks drive down Charred Oak today! The County transfer station is open, but will close at 5 p.m. with no evening hours.

Libraries. All County public libraries were closed on Monday, Feb. 8. Customers are asked not to return library materials until libraries reopen and are asked not to leave materials outside the library buildings. Materials due Feb. 5 through Feb. 10 will have their due dates extended one week. No fines will be charged for the period from Friday, Feb. 5, through Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Thanks!  To all the street captains and others who checked on neighbors in their area and those who alerted us to emergency situations, thank you!  Once again we’ve seen so many reflecting the regard for others that is always important — but all the more appreciated in times of need.

Last Chance to Help Save Community Ride On Bus 36!

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The West Bradley Citizens’ Association has asked the County government to keep Ride On Bus 36 since that was the overwhelming choice of those who responded to our recent alert about the proposed elimination of this service. On behalf of WBCA, Board president Sandy Vogelgesang has called relevant County offices and sent letters and emails to the County Department of Transportation, the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center and Roger Berliner, who is our County Council representative and a member of the Council committee dealing with transportation issues. See below for response from Mr. Berliner.

As Mr. Berliner’s letter reflects, this budget decision will boil down to making some tough choices. One key factor in this local election year will be public opinion. Thus, those of you who have not already sent a communication and feel strongly on this issue, do so NOW since the deadline for written comments is 5 PM tomorrow, Jan. 29. Given the timing, send an email. You should include your name, address, and phone number; your position on the Ride On issue; and the reason for your position. Most neighbors have stressed such factors as the need to keep our community’s only public transportation link to the Metro; the environmental importance of having an alternative to driving cars; and the range of our citizens served by the bus, from students to seniors. Best bet is to send one email to Mr. Berliner with a copy to MCDOT as follows:


Finally, although the deadline for signing up to speak at the public forum has passed, you can still attend the forum on Monday, Feb. 1, noted in the letter below.


Dear Sandy:

Thank you for your email regarding the proposed service changes and potential reductions to the Ride On bus service. I have taken the liberty of sharing your message with the County Executive, who has proposed this reduction. You and other members of the public have an opportunity to make your views known at a public forum that has been scheduled for February 1 at 6:30 pm at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville. More information is available at:

Like you, I am opposed to reducing Ride On bus service. I believe bus service is a core government function, particularly for those people that have no alternative. But beyond the equities, transit is essential to our quality of life which is most threatened by unacceptable congestion on our roads. If we are ever to get people out of their cars in larger numbers, and gain the environmental and other benefits associated with fewer vehicle miles traveled, it will be because we have a first class transit system. Reducing Ride is flatly inconsistent with those goals. Having said that, I recognize that significant cuts in government services will be required if we are to balance our budget in this difficult economic time. That means that other difficult choices will have to be made as to where to find the approximately $1 million in savings that would have been achieved by reducing Ride On can come from. That is what I am working on now.

I can not predict how my colleagues will vote on this issue, but know that I am doing what I can to restore these dollars and the Ride-On services so important to you and to our community.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Roger Berliner
Councilmember, District 1

January 9, 2010 update

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF LOCAL RIDE-ON BUS SERVICE:  Montgomery County officials say that, in order to help close the large budget gap, they are considering cuts in bus service, including the weekday service of Route 36 that connects our community to the downtown Bethesda Metro station. A public forum will be held to address this and other proposed cuts in service on Monday, February 1, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending after the last speaker at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level, located at 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland. In the case of inclement weather, the public forum will be held on Tuesday,  February 2.

 The WBCA Board would like to know your views and whether you would like our association to take a formal position on this issue.  Please email your opinion to Sandy Vogelgesang (  In addition, if you feel strongly about this issue, do sign up to speak at the public forum on or before January 25 by furnishing your name, home address, telephone number, and email address to the Division of Transit Services, Ride On Public Forum, 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850.  Comments can be written, faxed or emailed to the Division of Transit services by COB, January 29, at the address just noted or faxed to 240-777-5801 or emailed to  Individuals who sign up to speak must bring two printed copies of their testimony for the record. 

POLICE ALERT ON CONTINUING DAYTIME BURGLARIES:  Detectives from the Montgomery County Police 1st District Investigative Section continue to investigate recent daytime residential burglaries that have occurred in the Potomac and Darnestown areas and that appear to be related.  Most of the burglaries have occurred on weekdays during the daylight hours.  In all of the burglaries, force was used to gain entry into the house either through a window or a door.  In each burglary, jewelry has been the target of the suspect(s). 

Residents are reminded to lock their doors and windows and make sure that their garage doors are secure when they are not at home.  Residents are also asked to notify their neighbors, and encouraged to have a caretaker stop by the house when they are away for extended periods of time.  In addition, residents are encouraged to use timers on their lights, radios, and televisions, and to hold their mail and news subscriptions while they are away.  The police ask that all residents report any and all alarm calls immediately when alerted of alarm activations at their residence.  Officers will immediately be dispatched to check the residence.

Report suspicious activity, vehicles, and individuals promptly to the police by calling the non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.  A detailed description of the suspicious person or vehicle is extremely helpful.  Descriptors may include race, gender, clothing-type, and hair color.  Obtaining the vehicle’s color, make, model, tag number, and direction of travel will also assist responding officers.   

Anyone who may have information about these residential burglaries and/or the involved suspect(s) is asked to call the 1st District Investigative Section at 240-773-6084. 

COUNTY MEETING ON SENIOR FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES:  The monthly meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Association – the umbrella organization of civic associations to which WBCA belongs – will focus on what several nearby neighborhoods are doing to help seniors and others continue to live in their homes and enjoy more community support.  The meeting will be held on Monday, January 11, 7:45-10:00 PM at the County Council Office Building (first floor auditorium) at 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville.  Free parking in adjacent County garage.   The one-hour  program will start about 8:00 PM and will be followed by question period and reports on other County issues.  All citizens of WBCA welcome!  For more information, see


Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Security Concerns: Commander Darryl McSwain (Montgomery County District 1 Station) has just sent the following message to local civic associations:

The Potomac region has experienced a recent spike in daytime burglaries in which jewelry has been targeted. There is a possibility that eight (8) of the burglaries are related. The Rockville Investigative Section is actively following up on each case. Other law enforcement resources are being utilized to address the problem. Community members are asked to report any suspicious persons and/or vehicles to the non-emergency number at (301) 279-8000. Doors and windows should be locked before leaving your home, even if you only anticipate being away for a short period of time. In addition, it is recommended that you give the impression that the home is always occupied by utilizing timers on lights, the television, or a radio. For any other concerns related to personal safety, feel free to contact 1st District Community Services Officer Michael Prather by e-mail ( or phone at (240) 773-6077. In the meantime, please rest assured that all appropriate resources will continue to be devoted to this trend.

In addition to this increase in daytime burglaries, several community residents have reported incidents of suspicious behavior involving strangers who have tried to coax elementary and middle school children into their cars. Although these incidents have not/not occurred in the WBCA area, the reported increase in such incidents nearby reminds us all to be vigilant in behalf of our children. Thanks to those who reported this problem to us! Do be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and report it to the police immediately at the number noted above.

Seven Locks Road Sidewalk and Bikeway Project: Several WBCA residents attended the latest Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) meeting on this project, December 2. The proposed project will provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Seven Locks Road from Montrose Road to Bradley Boulevard, linking up with the asphalt path from Bradley to River Road. The improvements are to include inter alia: two 11-foot wide travel lanes plus 5-foot wide bike on-road lanes along both sides of Seven Locks Road, an 8-foot off-road shared use bike path on the west side of Seven Locks Road, and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of Seven Locks Road. The project is in Facility Planning Phase II during which MCDOT will collect data; develop concept plans; obtain public input; and develop 35% design plans, a cost estimate, and project schedule. This phase is scheduled for completion in winter 2011. WBCA has registered support for a proposed walkway-bikeway as long as it does not open the door for widening Seven Locks Road and it is coordinated with plans for the new Seven Locks Elementary School that is to open in January 2012. We have also questioned the need to build walkway-bikeway on both sides of Seven Locks Road. For more information, download the latest MCDOT newsletter at:
and choose Seven Locks Road Sidewalk (Montrose Road-Bradley Blvd.) from the projects list. The entire newsletter with maps of the project can be shown from the Project Documents window.

Continuing Deer Saga: Thanks to all of you who sent messages to the Montgomery County Department of Parks! Mary Bradford, Director of Parks, has responded to this outpouring of concern as well as the letter sent in behalf of our entire community. Although Director Bradford says that major budget problems are limiting a great deal of what the Parks Department wants to do, she writes that “our wildlife staff will determine the need for deer population management in Cabin John Regional Park and seek appropriate funding when it becomes available.” As part of this effort she writes that she will ask her wildlife staff “that an assessment of the deer population and its impacts be completed along with a recommended strategy and cost analysis for any potential management.” To help assure that the Parks Department remains apprised of our concerns, those who have not yet communicated to Bill Hamilton (deer management) should do so via email to

Discussion listservs: For those who want to participate in discussion listservs (more informal forum for sharing news and views than the regular WBCA announcemtn listser), contact J.J. MacNab at You can sign up for either or both of the listservs – one for east of Seven Locks Road and one for west of Seven Locks Road. It’s a great way to share tips on good repair services, garage or charity sales, lost pets – you name it!

Happy Holidays! Most important, to everyone in the community — best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy season!

Community Update – May 8, 2009

Friday, May 8th, 2009

COMMUNITY MEETING WITH SCHOOL BOARD. Neighbors in the West Bradley community are invited to meet with the elected members of the Montgomery County Board of Education at Winston Churchill High School, Thursday, May 14, 7:30-9:00 PM. This will be an excellent opportunity to talk directly with the officials who affect over half of the County budget and who shape public education for our children. The Board of Education will play a key role in deciding whether plans for building a new facility for Seven Locks Elementary School proceed.

LEAF COLLECTION. Canvassing to determine interest in signing up the entire West Bradley area for County leaf collection has indicated mixed returns. Since there does not appear to be the required 80 percent support, those who are interested in this issue plan to pursue other approaches. Those interested in helping should contact Greg Barr ( Thanks to Greg and J.J. MacNab for taking the lead on this issue!

SPEED CAMERAS. Don’t shoot the messenger! There’s a new speed camera on Seven Locks Road (in addition to the one near Seven Locks Elementary). The latest set of cameras is installed near the intersection of Seven Locks and MacArthur Boulevard. It latter tracks speed for both northbound and southbound traffic. One resident has flagged the fact that opponents of the expansion of speed cameras throughout Maryland are organizing a petition campaign against action taken recently in Annapolis. For more information, see:

COMMUNITY YARD SALE. Kudos to Dana Hollish Hill for mobilizing our first community yard sale! Over twenty families set up sale stands and much fun was had by all! Justine Rowden, a WBCA resident, signed copies of her new book, Paint Me a Poem, which is featured in this week’s issue of the Gazette. The first presentation was to one the youngest residents in the West Bradley community, Carter Lee Jillings — new son of Matt and Lee Anne Jillings. Welcome Carter!

Traffic Cameras

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Coming soon to a street near you – speed cameras!

According to a notice from the County (late December 2008), Montgomery County is installing six new cameras in our area – in addition to many already installed elsewhere in the County. The locations for the new cameras which will be put into operation in early 2009 are the following:

 9800 block of Seven Locks Road. Enforcement for southbound traffic. 35 MPH
 9800 block of River Road. Enforcement for westbound traffic. 30 MPH
 8700 block of Tuckerman Lane. Enforcement for westbound traffic. 35 MPH
 8800 block of Tuckerman Lane. Enforcement for eastbound traffic. 35 MPH.
 6410 block of Wilson Lane. Enforcement for eastbound traffic. 30 MPH
 6100 block of Wilson Lane. Enforcement for westbound traffic. 30 MPH

Traffic Safety

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008


Seven Locks Road:
Traffic Safety and Proposed Sidewalk/Bikeway

New Project: Work continues on the County’s proposed project with walkways for both sides of Seven Locks Road from Bradley Boulevard to Montrose Boulevard and a bikeway on one side of the road. The new walkway is to link up with the walkway already installed along Seven Locks Road from Bradley Boulevard south to River Road and beyond to the C and O Canal.

The goal is to expand the walking and biking network throughout Montgomery County – with special regard for connecting park and recreation areas. Next steps include getting approval from the County Planning Board, funding, and public comment on final designs. The earliest construction date is likely, according to project managers, to be in 2012. Community leaders have urged the County to coordinate plans for this walkway-bikeway with the plans for building a new elementary school at the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard. For more information, consult the Montgomery County website for the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT).

Continuing Safety Concern: On both the specific walkway project and for Seven Locks Road in general, the West Bradley Citizens’ Association has underscored the overriding concern of our residents about traffic safety. There is acute community concern about speeding along Seven Locks Road and rush-hour gridlock. Thus, while WBCA supports the proposed walkway/bikeway project as one means to bolster pedestrian safety, we continue to press for other measures to increase traffic safety along Seven Locks Road.